Downtown Valdosta Facade Grant Program helps business owners revamp their location

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Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:31 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Downtown Valdosta wants to help Main Street businesses revamp their storefronts.

And it’s about to happen because of a new grant that has been re-implemented after 12 years.

On Wednesday, city officials presented a check to the first business owner who applied.

Downtown Valdosta re-implements Facade Grant Program.
Downtown Valdosta re-implements Facade Grant Program.(WALB)

Over 200 businesses in the downtown area can apply for help to beautify their storefront.

In the heart of downtown Valdosta, you will find a building historically marked from 1905.

The business inside, The Flower Gallery, has been there for over 30 years.

The owner, Susan Mullis, says the storefront was starting to get a little down with age.

Downtown Valdosta re-implements Facade Grant Program.
Downtown Valdosta re-implements Facade Grant Program.(WALB)

“It started to look pretty but rough, so it needed that oomph,” said Mullis.

She was the first applicant to receive the re-implemented Facade Program grant from the Central Valdosta Development Authority.

It’s a matching grant, donating 50% of the funds the business owner spent.

Mullis was able to paint the building, awning, repair and replace windows and plant a flower bed, giving her store a full outside makeover.

Main Street Director, Ellen Hill says this grant is helpful especially for businesses inside historical buildings.

“I believe this grant is really important because when you own a 100 plus-year-old building, there’s a lot of upkeep to maintain. Sometimes it’s unexpected and sometimes it can be a little expensive and it’s just really important the downtown development authority can offset some of those costs and we are always happy to do it,” said Hill.

Hill says they’re able to do this because of property downtown development sold, a parking lot swap.

Those funds were put into this grant.

Mullis says she’s thankful for the grant and hopes other businesses do the same.

Beautifying the area can attract more visitors, driving business.

“I’m hoping everyone will take the lead and go get their business taken care of. It really will help all of us if we jump in there and help each other,” said Mullis.

Hill says the grant will be ongoing until the money runs out.

They hope to continue finding ways to keep the money going and maintain the program.

Those who wish to apply can contact the Downtown Development Authority and they’ll send an application.

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